Jurgen Klopp has knocked something off what he calls his “sports bucket list” – playing crown green bowls.
The Reds boss took a short walk from his home in Formby to Holy Trinity bowls clubs where he was joined by coaching staff Peter Krawietz and Pep Lijnders.
While there the Reds boss partnered with LFC season ticket holder Lesley who has been going to Anfield for 56 years but they met some strong opposition in the form of fellow LFC fans Adrian and Peter.
During the game, Klopp also took time to answer some questions from his playing companions about his first year at Anfield, with today marking the anniversary of his appointment.
On his first year…
“Busy, I have not a lot to do with the life around (football). My car knows the way to the training ground and back! But it’s great. I couldn’t have imagined that I would have had the opportunity to work for a club like Liverpool, it’s not possible when you start working.
“So I’m really thankful I’ve got the opportunity to do this.
Is Formby and Liverpool now home…?
“Yes, 100%. So we would not have signed such a long contract if you think ‘it’s really difficult to live here’. For a dog it’s paradise. The beach, she loves it at the seaside. It sounds more sad than it is actually, but life is football to be honest in moments like this. The Freshfield (local pub), going there. I really like having a good pint in good surroundings.
Do you sign players you ‘like’..?
“Like in a specific way of course, they have to fit in a team, that’s how it is. We are so often, so long in the day together, it’s based on sense, you always think ‘oh my god what a footballer but please’. First of all it’s all about football skills, abilities, but it’s very complex. But at the end you have to accept you can never do what everybody wants, I learned that pretty quickly”
Best moments of the year….and the worst?
Dortmund was nice, the last half an hour was not too bad. Burnley, 600 or 700 games as a manager and a game like this I never saw!
The Liverpool squad….
“I’m completely fine with my squad this year, I really like it. Good characters, good attitude and all the rest you have to develop. I saw a lot of things last season where I thought ‘ok, come on’. You cannot do more than try, you can buy a guarantee.
On joining Liverpool…
“When people are long enough not happy then it’s a good moment to come and say ‘come on, we can do it like this all the time or we can try to be a bit more optimistic.
“The first thing really for this job, you need to know a little bit about football, it makes sense. You have really to handle pressure because they all put pressure on your shoulders, unbelievable. I’m absolutely not interested in expectation, it was never my life from outside.
“I’m ambitious enough, you cannot be more than 100%. Why should I ask people ‘do you think I should do better’ and things like this. That’s my best skill, I can stay positive even when no-one is positive any more.
“You need to create an atmosphere in the team where they listen to me and not listen to all around because everyone is ‘you have to do this and that’. At the end, they’re very young lads and we all dream about the experienced players of the past. But at one time they were young players, they had not the same qualities. We need to give them the chance to develop, to come there. We always judge so early and say ‘no, we don’t want to see him any more, send him, sell him, we’ll buy him!’
“I’m very patient, I know we need time but it doesn’t mean we cannot do it know.
On what he’d like to achieve if he comes back next year…
“I think about a wonderful final which we’ve won, to talk about a few great, great games that we’ve won. Common experience, we don’t know each other but when we come here and talk about Liverpool we have something in in common which is really nice, that’s what I love. The more we can talk about it, the better it would be. I cannot say the one thing, I wish that it would happen, but if I say it everybody goes nuts.”
Unfortunately for the Reds boss he and Lesley weren’t able to match the quality of the opposition but he took the setback well.
“My father never let me win at anything either”.